Dane Nielsen on standby for Inglis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dane Nielsen on standby for Inglis

Wayne Heming 16/05/2011 07:28:17 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne centre Dane Nielsen is waiting in the wings should superstar Greg Inglis fail to recover from a hip injury in time for Queensland's State of Origin opener against NSW in Brisbane.

It's believed the 25-year-old Mackay-born centre, a product of the same Brisbane club that produced Melbourne Storm stars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, is on standby if Inglis receives an unfavourable medical report.

Inglis has already made it clear to coach Mal Meninga he wants to pull on the maroon jumper on Wednesday week.

But his NRL club South Sydney - already battling a crippling injury toll - are concerned their star recruit could be sidelined for an extended period if he re-injures the hip he had surgery on before the season.

"He wants to play but South Sydney don't (want him to)," Meninga told AAP when asked about Inglis' chances of being named on Tuesday.

There were conflicting reports about his injury on Monday.

Some reports had him in "grave doubt" while there were suggestions he could have played in Souths' 29-18 win over the Tigers at the weekend.

Bench prop Ben Hannant is another Maroon under an injury cloud but he's expected to be included in Meninga's 17-man squad along with rejuvenated forwards Corey Parker and Jacob Lillyman while young Brisbane winger Jharal Yow Yeh is likely to debut.

Parker hasn't played Origin since 2005 while Lillyman was part of Meninga's side that completed the hat-trick in 2008.

Nielsen, former Queensland super sub Shaun Berrigan - back in the NRL this season with the Warriors - and Titans winger Steve Michaels are potential options should Inglis be ruled out.

An alternative would be moving Darius Boyd from the wing into the centres.

"We've got some issues at the moment. We're a bit unsure about GI (Inglis) and Benny Hannant," said Meninga after a 60-minute meeting with selectors on Monday morning.

"There's a few guys carrying injuries and Darren (Lockyer) of course.

"We're not sure about Greg. He's seeing a specialist on Monday afternoon.

"We'll give everyone as much time as we possibly can to be fit and ready to go."

Lockyer suffered a "burner" in his shoulder and neck against Penrith at the weekend but has already assured Meninga he'll be right to play game one of his farewell Origin series with a chance to break Allan's Langer's appearance record.

Parker is expected to beat Cowboy Dallas Johnson to a bench spot because of his consistency, tackling, offload abilities and his bigger frame.

While Johnson will likely miss out on his 13th Origin after returning from the UK this season, he's been struggling with injury anyway.

Despite his 11th-hour plea to selectors, Inglis' Rabbitohs team-mate Dave Taylor is expected to be snubbed after playing all three games last year.

Taylor took the unusual action of appealing to selectors through the media following reports of his impending axing because his work rate and fitness were in question.

A likely Queensland Origin squad is: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Willie Tonga, Greg Inglis, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (capt), Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Cooper Cronk, Corey Parker, Ben Hannant, Jacob Lillyman.

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